Admittedly I’m only 116/254 pages into Digital Minimalism and hooked. So much so that I’ve decided to do a digital reset for the entire month of November.
One may assume that a digital reset is a time in which you get to escape from your phone, kind of like a vacation to a remote place in Mexico (I’ve done that, multiple times, it’s lovely, highly recommend.) But it’s more like a time to step away from distractions and reconnect to the things you enjoy doing but claim you have very little time for. And connect with the people who mean the most to you. And really, just enjoy solitude. If you’ve ever gone to a remote place in Mexico and didn’t have access to your phone for at least two weeks, you know that feeling. This is a way to bring that feeling home with you daily.
The perk of this challenge is that I get to set the rules – the author does however suggest making drastic changes in order to FEEL the process. I’ve tried removing apps from my phone in the past but I would spend even more time trying to navigate them on my phone via a browser… and then end up reinstalling the apps within a short period of time. That’s where I’m currently at with Facebook. And I have taken breaks from Facebook, 3-6 months typically, only to get sucked back in.
So what’s my plan this time? It’s pretty detailed but here I go:
- Remove the following apps from my phone: Mail, Podcasts, Word Swag, ABM, VSCO, Layout, Boomerang, Typorama, Canva, Repost, Unfold, ColorStory, Instagram, Facebook, Facebook Messenger, McRun, Think Dirty, WhattoExpect, MyFitnessPal, Garmin Connect, Fitbit, Spotify, Hannaford, hoopla, Pinterest, Duolingo, Contour, TheWonderWeeks, Decibel Meter, AllTrails, Solid Starts, Minute Photo, CVS, 1SE, UHLSMobile, PictureMushroom, NPR, Hopper, Michaels, and any other Apple installed apps that come with the phone that I honestly don’t use. I will not check any of these apps on a desktop for the duration of November.
- No Netflix (or any streaming / movies, etc.): I feel smug when I tell people we don’t have a television, never have in all the years that I’ve been living on my own (outside of my parents’ house), but we do stream Netflix on our laptop. We only watch stuff in the evenings, never when B is awake.
- Check personal email once a day, on a desktop. To start fresh, I’m going to archive everything in my inbox so that I’m back to zero. As emails come in, I’ll unsubscribe and report spam as needed, respond and file back down to zero.
- Because I’m deleting the apps, no podcasts or music streaming: but I will listen to the radio as I wish – and records!
- Now I know this one is big, but I will not bring my phone into work with me on the days I’m in the office. Let me rephrase this, I’m going to pretend I forgot my phone at home while at work. I’m giving myself permission to retrieve it from my glovebox on my lunch breaks to check texts / missed calls, but I will not be physically bringing it into the office. Family will have my direct line to my desk should they need to get ahold of me.
- At bedtime, my phone will reside in the bathroom. I’ll use my watch on my nightstand as my alarm clock as needed (honestly haven’t used one since B was born).
I’m giving myself the option to continue blogging, and possibly blogging about my experience during the reset but I won’t be sharing on FB or IG when those posts are published. If you’re on my email list, you’ll get it automatically.
According to statistics in this book (published in 2019), the average adult American spends more than 3 hours a day on their phone – and that doesn’t include streaming services like podcasts and music. Multiple that by 30 and you’ve spent 90 hours or almost 4 days with your face in front of your phone. Imagine if you added in time spent watching tv? No wonder we’re all living for the weekend – and even so, not completing everything on our lists!
What I hope to do / complete during my reset:
- finish knitting B’s stocking
- make two stocking stuffers for B
- read two books (if you think about it, if you read at least 20 pages a day, that’s like 30 books a year!)
- workout! I haven’t ran or taken a Peloton class since MAY – TTT 10k here I come, ha! And we’ve been paying for the app –
- make 4 playdates / connect with friends who have yet to meet my child
If you’ve read / reading / going to scramble to have it read and want to join along in this reset – just holler! Let’s set up a zoom support group mid month to talk about our journey.